“CREATING A LONG AD IS NOT GOING TO ATTRACT
ATTENTION – IT’S PROBABLY GOING TO DETER.”
– SARAH JANE DOWLING, CHRL, CHRE, DIRECTOR OF HR, PBL INSURANCE
Linkedin, for example). Dowling adds that she gets the hiring manager
to tell her what they are looking for and she will put the “HR
spin” on the ad.
“I tell them what’s happening in the industry and what’s happening
with recent hires,” she said. She adds that the hiring manager’s expertise
gives her the “foundation to wordsmith” the ad when necessary.
DOES SIZE MATTER?
Simply, there is no right or wrong size for a job description but
there are pitfalls to avoid. Shylock says length can be a problem
when putting pen to paper.
“Traditional job descriptions can be too long, full of paragraphs
that people are not going to read or want to read that are also full
of company-specific jargon,” he said. This can pose problems for recruiters.
The best way to filter your lists is to ask yourself, “What will
this person be doing 95 per cent of the time?” Also, what’s required
upon entry versus what are the things you will train? By eliminating
the future items, says Shylock, you get to the description people will
read and hopefully filter out people you wouldn’t want to interview.
He adds that creating a “criticality score” will help create the posting.
How well do you have to do a certain task and how often will
you be doing that task? More than length, Dowling says by starting
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with the right key elements and content, even such things as visual
space, you can attract the right candidates and if necessary, push
them to get more information through a website or elsewhere.
“Creating a long ad is not going to attract attention – it’s probably
going to deter,” she said.
There are also several elements that contribute to a “bad” job posting,
says Dowling – ads that are too long, ads that have jargon, ads that
cannot even attract candidates and ads that have spelling or grammatical
mistakes. Obviously, illegal items such as discrimination are
points that must be left out of job descriptions, says Shylock.
Getting the message out is just as important as what the message
is. Dowling says she uses a variety of specialized sites (in her case,
for the insurance industry) as well as associations that can help
target recruitment. Ads are tracked and that data can be used later
to ensure they are getting the best bang for their buck. She also
says that “a good job ad is a good job ad” and the size of your organization
should not matter.
“You need to craft an ad that speaks to your culture in a way that’s
equally important to you and spells out the qualifications, and that
transcends big business and small business,” she said. n
42 ❚ JANUARY 2015 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL